Notebook: WR Chris Conley ready again to step up for a fallen comrade

Georgia's Chris Conley (31) gives the Bulldogs more of a vertical threat at the slot receiver than they had with Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's Chris Conley (31) gives the Bulldogs more of a vertical threat at the slot receiver than they had with Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS — This is getting to be old hat for Georgia’s Chris Conley.

Conley, a sophomore wide receiver from Paulding County, has emerged as the chief replacement for injured starter Marlon Brown. Brown, a senior and the Bulldogs’ co-leader with 27 receptions, was lost for the season to a knee injury against Ole Miss this past Saturday.

In Georgia’s base offensive set, the Bulldogs will go with senior Tavarres King and sophomore Malcolm Mitchell at their two wideout positions. But when they go to three wides – and Georgia has done that quite often this season – it’s the talented and capable Conley who will step into Brown’s all important slot position.

Georgia’s coaches made that determination this week and, really, well before that.

“Conley was starting to play a little Y, the slot receiver, for us when Michael (Bennett) went down,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “He’s still primarily a flanker, but he’s going to get the majority of the reps in that slot. Justin Scott-Wesley and (Taylor) Bradberry will be in that role as well.”

But be clear: Conley is the player the Bulldogs will be counting on. He has stepped up in such scenarios before.

Last season, Georgia ripped the redshirt off Conley midway through the year after Rantavious Wooten (concussion) and Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring) went down for extended periods with injuries. He caught a huge first-down pass in a win over Florida, had 5 catches for 126 yards against New Mexico State and finished with 288 yards and two touchdowns on 16 receptions.

Conley’s role has been limited most of this season. He has caught at least one pass in all but three games and has seven overall for 84 yards and one score.

“I try not to look at it as how many balls I’m catching or how many routes I’m running,” Conley said. “I just want to help the team out, really and honestly. As long as we’re winning I’m happy. I just try to do my job and know my time will come. That’s really easy for me.”

The one thing Conley can’t do is make himself bigger. Brown (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) and Bennett (6-4, 220) were big, physical receivers. Conley (6-3, 202) is more slender and known more for his speed and smooth moves.

“I’m a long guy,” Conley said. “I like to think of myself as being able to stretch the field… . I think I bring a little bit different perspective to the slot position. I think I’ll be able to work in a couple of moves in that they couldn’t. But they’re a couple of talented guys and I have to learn from them as well.

Said Georgia coach Mark Richt: “He’s got some pretty good physicality about him. He doesn’t mind mixing it up and blocking a little. We think he’ll do well.”

Conley certainly has his team’s confidence.

“He’s going to do fine because he’s a conscientious guy who works hard,” Bobo said. “When his number has been called, he has answered and made plays.”

Burnette will not start

Right guard Chris Burnette did not practice for a third consecutive day Wednesday and will not start Saturday’s game against Auburn. The junior from LaGrange had started 19 games in a row and 22 overall before he had to leave the first half of the Ole Miss game with a left shoulder injury.

Richt said Burnett likely will travel with the team to Auburn and dress out for the game. But that’s still being determined.

“He possibly could be ready (to play), we just don’t know,” Richt said.

Richt’s hip

If Richt has hip-replacement surgery, it likely won’t be until after national signing day.

“That would be the earliest possible time,” Richt said Wednesday. “That would give me enough time to recover to be able to do the things I need to do. I’d have to move around a couple of things. I could wait until after spring ball, but there’s a lot of Bulldog Club there and some other obligations… . But I really don’t want to go too deep into the summer.”

Richt revealed this week that a 20-year-old hip injury has left him in excruciating pain, especially after games.

Etc…

Richt said the coaches were not considering using freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons as a slot receiver but added, “I wish I had thought about it on Sunday.” … . Junior outside linebacker Chase Vasser (left shoulder) did not practice again Wednesday and likely won’t travel this weekend… .Georgia practiced for two hours Wednesday in shorts and shoulder pads on its field turf fields. “It was great,” Richt said. “It was cool but the wind wasn’t blowing and our field can handle the water without a problem. It was actually an excellent day to practice.”

55 comments Add your comment

UGA24-7

November 7th, 2012
9:31 pm

OkieDawg

November 7th, 2012
10:03 pm

Chris Conley is the best looking WR in the Nation getting off the bus. He is also the best looking WR in the Nation in pre-game drills. Now he has the chance to be the best WR in the Nation on the field of play. GATA Chris…it is your time.

NC Dawgfan

November 7th, 2012
10:29 pm

If the O-line does their job in the run game and pass protection, it doesn’t matter who plays receiver! We also need to use TE’s more. Rome is a mismatch for any LB!!!

vf

November 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

watch out for Conley, he’s athletic, tall, and fast. I think he’ll be JUST fine

joe jenkins

November 7th, 2012
11:20 pm

richt said he wish he would have thought about on sunday about getting jhc to play the slot position….wow….the biggest game of the year and jhc could be a sleeper at wr and richt waits to late to think about geez

William Perry

November 7th, 2012
11:44 pm

Joe s the real moron here.

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:49 pm

joe jenkins…..bite it…..geez fan?????

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:50 pm

William…you figured out joe real easy…….

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:51 pm

hey joe…..are you a closest fan????

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:52 pm

Hey joe…..Dawgs 8-1….in case you needed to know….

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:53 pm

joe is not a moron…..just blogs like one…..

Smitty

November 7th, 2012
11:56 pm

Sorry joe….no love….

S.Williams

November 8th, 2012
12:14 am

Joe is soft!

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OLD JUNKYARD DAWG

November 8th, 2012
5:52 am

OK you hairy dawgs its time to kick some warbeagle butt, So HUNKER DOWN and GET SoooooEM!

MA English 75

November 8th, 2012
6:16 am

Why aren’t we getting Rantavious Wooten ready, as well, to step up as a receiver? He has experience and talent.

Calhoundawg

November 8th, 2012
7:29 am

Richt is famous for his subtle, good-natured, sarcasms downplaying or poking fun at the obvious. His comment about JHC was one such comment — obviously taken literally by JJ. Think about it, JJ. Bobo and Grantham have been salivating thinking of ways to get him on the field. However, there are many aspects of playing the receiver position to consider other than simply catching the ball when it comes your way. Conley is by far the next best option after Bennett and Brown. Lighten up, buddy, enjoy the ride :-) Go Dawgs !!!!!

NC_Dawg

November 8th, 2012
7:36 am

Nay-sayers like Joe will always find a reason to bash CMR and the team. CMR was talking to the media Joe. You should not judge anything a coach says to the media. This might be news to you Joe, but sometimes writers take things people say out of context. CMR may have been saying that sarcastically. Who knows what CMR meant by that statement. CMR knows, you don’t. If Josh Harvey-Clemmons was ready to play big boy football, I think he’d be on the field already. If you dislike CMR and UGA so much, then why do you watch?

Vampire Bill

November 8th, 2012
7:41 am

Joe is soft.. Ha.. now that’s funny

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
7:50 am

@ NC Dawg……I do like CMR and I have been a UGA fan for 26 years…..But I don’t think Richt will ever win us the mnc….Like i said before if we would have took care of business against the poultry…we wouldn’t be in this position….Deep down you know we shouldn’t never lose to the chickens three years in a row…I don’t have much confidence in our team on the road because of our slow starts….we don’t want to get down 10-0 at auburn… you don’t want to flirt with disator to many times…

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
7:52 am

smitty and willam perry….why don’t yall go on a diet

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
7:53 am

Yeah i’m soft…but not as soft as the dawgs have been in road games

Jimmy Crack

November 8th, 2012
7:53 am

Rest everybody until the Bama game. Auburn will shoot themselves in the foot from the opening kickoff, Ga Southern will be a headache just to get up for, and Tech is Tech. Give the backups lots of reps and try out JHC at WR. Health is the most important thing.

NCDawg

November 8th, 2012
8:16 am

CMR has a very subtle sense of humor. He was likely pulling the reporters leg. If I saw the interview I could tell you for sure. He likely considered it and decided against it because better options were available.
MA English 75 – Wooten has been playing a good bit. He is the poor guy that ran his route too short and got stopped at the 1/2 yard line on 4th and goal in the SC game. He also has a couple of TD grabs as well.

Chris Mike

November 8th, 2012
8:24 am

@joe jenkins you is already setting youself up for defeat. Auburn is not a good team, trust me on this 10- 0 at Auburn come on! UGA will take care of business this week and get rady for Bama. I f you wondering why I’m so confident its because I work those sorry _ss game each week at Auburn and they are horrible. If you are soft get the hell of this blog Go Dawgs!

Destin Dawg

November 8th, 2012
8:25 am

Chris Conley’s time to step up.. he’s fast.. good hands… he’ll finish this season strong !!! Go dawgs beat Auburn… SEC East Champs on the line !!!!

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
8:26 am

ol gene chizik is sounding pretty confident… i hope we stomp them in the ground….but here we go again having to shake up the o-line again….auburn has alot of good players….we better jump on them early

[...] Notebook: WR Chris Conley ready to step up again for fallen comrade [...]

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
8:33 am

@chrismike…i’m not soft at all….just a sarcastic remark towards those other knuckleheads…..i’m just a realist….we have struggled on the road…we almost got beat by kent……if we are truly an 8-1 team we should whip a 2-7 auburn team….I just know the history of georgia football…we love to make things more interesting than they have to be or should be

Lonnie

November 8th, 2012
8:40 am

Ready for Saturday. Let’s go dawgs!!!!

NCDawg

November 8th, 2012
9:34 am

Conley and Scott-Wesley will get the job done. We have a few games to get them up to speed. It’s sad that Auburn sux so badly that it is even a question that the Dawgs will be up for the game. I don’t think it matters what Auburn’s record is… this is a game that has to be won and the Dawgs will do it. I think the guys will be jacked up, personally. The rivalry is one thing but I don’t think anybody has forgotten what Fairley did a couple of years ago. There is still bad blood there. Unlike with Kentucky, where they have never really done anything to make that game meaningful. Vandy would be that way too if not for Franklin. Maybe the next Kentucky head coach will screw up and do something to piss the Dawgs off too. LOL

OLD DOG

November 8th, 2012
9:45 am

Hey Joe, Maybe Ricth has thought of it but just may not want Ablum to know.

OLD DOG

November 8th, 2012
9:52 am

Enter your comments here

G-Dawg

November 8th, 2012
9:58 am

LSU had their hands full with these guys. Lemonier is first round talent..and will be a force on the line. Tigers would love to be the spoilers for us and Bama. Its all they have left for this season.

KBP

November 8th, 2012
10:07 am

Chris Conley will surprise a lot of people. I think he is a good receiver. Hope he does well.

Joe Jenkins . . . It is not good to lose to SC 3 years in a row, but we must consider who SC’s coach is. Spurrier is recruiting the same caliber of talent we recruit as well as Bama, LSU, and FL. No team in the SEC is going to be superior to SC at every position as it used to be. This is not SC of the 90’s. Lou Holtz got it started and Spurrier is taking it to a higher level. Every SEC east team is going to have to deal with SC for as long as Spurrier is there. I hate it and I hope Petrino does not go to UT nor KY.

Whopper Jr

November 8th, 2012
10:20 am

Nothing else Matters like them Green Apple Splatters…WDE gonna Smoke them Dawgs like Tyrann Mattieu smokes the devil’s doobie…

NCDawg

November 8th, 2012
10:27 am

I don’t think UT would go the Petrino route… they were burned pretty badly by the last fly-by-night coach they hired. Kentucky however, may do that just a a stick in the eye to Louisville. I hope the scumbag doesn’t get a job anywhere in BCS land. He needs to pay his dues at an FBS school to earn his way back to being trusted. Anybody that hires him will get what they deserve when he bolts or screws up again.

joe jenkins

November 8th, 2012
10:52 am

I think auburn will play zone like fla did to try and frustrate murray….I hope murray will be turnover free like the ole miss game…. I think we should play jay rome more….he is a mismatch for any DB !! I still dont think jsw will be the answer…..I’m just really sad about the loss of bennett and brown…..with those guys we beat bama….thats if we get past aub this sat

Bonzai Dawg

November 8th, 2012
11:10 am

Methinks Richts statement was about getting Harvey-Clemons in to deliver some retribution blocking on the Ole Miss DBs(who did get a little carried away with the injury tackle to Brown)

Spanky

November 8th, 2012
11:23 am

Joe, are we talking about the same Aubarn who is looking for it’s FIRST SEC WIN?! …or are you trying on your Larry Munson pants?!

AFDawg

November 8th, 2012
11:40 am

I would think Van Gorder and Martinez will throw the kitchen sink at Murray — especially with Burnette being out. They will blitz all game long — like GA Tech used to do. Having said that, I hope the Dawgs practiced the quick release short routes and roll-out pitch to the edge this week. Don’t forget, LSU struggled to beat Auburn 12 -10 earlier this season. Despite their record, they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Outer Banks Dawg

November 8th, 2012
11:57 am

Dawgs will be ready to play! Chris Conley is a lot like Michael Bennett. He’s gonna make some plays for us! So I’m guessing its gonna be Kenarious Gates at Right Guard and Beard at Left Tackle. We need some quality reserve O Linemen in a bad way. We have plenty of guys to step up at skill position, but we need more depth at O line.

Bring the intensity to Auburn and its gonna be a great night to be a Dawg! I wanna see lots of Georgia people in Jordan-Hare!

WDE

November 8th, 2012
12:10 pm

Just read that Nkemdiche decommits from Clemson…as talented as this kid is I hope we stay very far away from him….he is a drama looking for a queen

dawgfacedboy

November 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

Great job by Nkemdiche succumbing to family pressure. Now he’ll end up at Ole Miss and play in relative obscurity on a .500 football team for the next 3 years. Thanks mom.

LSU is vastly overrated. If UGA shows up prepared this wont be a close game.

Joey

November 8th, 2012
12:35 pm

Spanky, Auburn almost beat LSU, right there at Jordan Hare Stadium, where we are headed to play.

If you think AU can’t play really good at times, maybe you need to try on Larry Munson’s pants . . .

Joey

November 8th, 2012
12:42 pm

“LSU is vastly overrated.”
***************************
So nobody is any good in the SEC, dawgfacedboy?

LSU was a couple minutes from beating the best team in college football Bama, and #6 UF, yet the Tigers are “vastly overrated?”

I guess the SEC is vastly overrated also . . .

RedandBlackDAWG

November 8th, 2012
12:52 pm

C. Conley can step in and do a good job for UGA. He did just fine last year, and the kid has good hands and speed.

slydog

November 8th, 2012
1:06 pm

The Dawgs are actually faster and more athletic at receiver with the younger guys.

RxDawg

November 8th, 2012
2:48 pm

“LSU is vastly overrated.”

I thought that too… until they took Bama down to the wire. I don’t think they’re overrated.

ARdawg

November 8th, 2012
3:00 pm

LSU isn’t underrated. They like Georgia has been a bit on the bipolar side and plays to the competition. LSU beat Bama where they were supposedly indestructible